I thought it would be fun to trace the progression of the South Jersey sprint medley record as well as I could.
I didn’t realize at the time the record has changed hands 12 times … including twice in the span of five minutes!
The earliest South Jersey sprint medley record I could find was Overbrook’s 3:37.8 in 1970 for the full 2 1/2-mile distance. Whatever the mark was before that was over 3:40.
Woodbury broke the record in 1972 with a 3:33.4 and then Rancocas Valley broke that mark two years later with a 3:32.8. That mark stood two more years until Pemberton ran 3:32.3 in 1976.
Then, at the 1977 South Jersey Relays at Pennsauken, Williamstown and Pemberton both broke the record in consecutive races! Williamstown literally held the South Jersey SMR record for five minutes!
Here’s the Courier-Post’s story on that from 43 years ago:
In 1978, Woodbury lowered the record to 3:30.7.
All the times mentioned so far were done in yards. So the sprint medley was exactly a mile. In the list below, all those times have been converted using the standard .9942 conversion rate.
By 1980 all the sprint medleys were 1,600 meters. But in 1979, some meets were held in yards and some in meters.
In 1979, Willingboro lowered the record to 3:29.1 in a metric race and another Willingboro team lowered the mark to 3:27.3 in 1983, which meant the South Jersey sprint med record had been broken six times in 12 years.
But Willingboro’s mark stood for 18 years.
Finally, in 2001, both Camden (3:22.85) and Willingboro (3:23.79) ran faster. The next year Vineland turned in its remarkable 3:22.71, and that has also stood for 18 years.
So a record that once was broken twice in five minutes has now been broken twice in 36 years!
I spent way too many hours on this, but here is a complete progression of the South Jersey sprint medley record. I listed where I could find them.
I’ll post the full all-time South Jersey sprint medley top-50 this afternoon. But first … the complete all-time record progression!
3:37.8: Overbrook, May 3, 1970, South Jersey Relays, at Pennsauken [Gene Hortz, Brian Morris, Terry Wescott, Frank Hass]
3:33.4: Woodbury, May 7, 1972, South Jersey Relays, at Pennsauken [John Stratton 50.8, Howard Savage 22.4, Jeff Thornton 22.3, Jack Turnock 1:57.9]
3:32.8: Rancocas Valley, April 21, 1974, Woodbury Relays [Bill Robinson, Roger Schneider, Jerry Felton, Greg Honsby]
3:32.3: Pemberton, May 17, 1976, New Jersey Relays, at Metuchen [Jim Sherrer, 50.5, Bob McKeever, Brian Tademay,Tavo Rivera 1:54.6]
3:32.1: Williamstown, May 8, 1977, South Jersey Relays [Group 1-2 race] at Pennsauken [John Marino 51.5, Mike Bull 24.3, Warren Williams 21.5, Tony Uzdavines 1:54.8]
3:31.4: Pemberton, May 8, 1977, South Jersey Relays [Group 3-4 race], at Pennsauken [George Thompson 51.1, Charlie Brown 23.6, Stanley Whittaker 23.2, Tavo Rivera 1;53.4]
3:30.7: Woodbury, May 16, 1978, New Jersey Relays at Toms River [Keith Washington 47.8, Bruce Washington, Blane Martin, Dick Caton 1:54.3]
3:30.3: Willingboro, April 22, 1979, Krulik Relays, at Kearny [Marc Dickerson 22.2, Carl Lewis 21.0, Quincy Vaughn 50.0, Bob Mann 1:57.1]
3:27.3: Willingboro, April 23, 1983, Woodbury Relays [Greg Gaiters, Darryl Coleman, Jeff Bradford, Vance Watson]
3:27.0: Willingboro, April 21, 2001, Woodbury Relays [Michael Bolling, Mike Levinson, Darrin Scott, Marvin Lewis]
3:22.85: Camden, June 14, 2001, adidas Outdoor Championships, Raleigh, N.C., [probably Dwight Ruff, Jade Smith, Jamar Ervin, John Morris]
3:22.71: Vineland, adidas Outdoor Championships, Raleigh, N.C. [Marcus Lee 21.08, Dale Coleman 22.4, Schaefer Sherrer 48.02, Shannon Sherrer 1:50.05]